Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
This year I decided to do a chronological reading through the Bible, which I am really enjoying. A lot of that reading lately has been in Psalms and this particular one really stood out to me the other night, especially this section:
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go;
give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
I find myself in a similar mode as David when he wrote this later in his life. When I am floundering in my circumstances, I can only see myself and my problems. But when I focus on my Rock of Refuge, it makes me look at everything He is doing in my life with new eyes.
Yesterday already happened.
Tomorrow I may not be here.
But right now I can rely on the Lord to be my true refuge…to guide me through the mountains and valleys in my life until He finally brings me home with Him.
How about you, Beloved? Is Jesus your Rock of Refuge? Will you totally trust in Him for everything in your life?
Oh, Jesus, we need You so much in our lives! We are so thankful that because of Your sacrifice on the cross, we have the hope of eternal life with You. We love you so much! And how can we ever thank You enough for being our Rock of Refuge? Help us to learn to rely on you daily … hourly … minute-by-minute. Amen.
Beloved, I am beyond tired these days. It is more a bone-deep weariness, and feels like I’m treading mud.
I’ve written before about the chronic pain illnesses I live with daily—Fibromyalgia (FMS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), and daily migraines. The pain that goes along with these wears me out very easily. Summer is my worst season because of the effects of our monsoon weather, and heat also exacerbates my symptoms.
Earlier this summer I thought that sharing blog posts from other authors would be a good way for me to cut down on my computer and internet time during this season, but in fact, it has made things worse. Maybe that’s because I’ve been posting something everyday, but I receive so many great devotionals by email and enjoy sharing them with you. That still translates into more time spent working on my blog.
I thought that I was on the right track because I was doing the work of the Lord but He has been nudging me for several weeks about this. Yesterday I finally got it.
I have been so focused on the work of the Lord that I’ve neglected the Lord of the work.
In my typical overly-ambitious way, I believed that the more I shared about God and how He enables us to live with joy, faith and hope, the more I was doing what He has planned for me right now. But that is apparently not His plan at all—whether that means just for now, or for the unforeseeable future.
My sweet hubby, Rick, has been cautioning me to cut down on my computer and writing time, but I always assured him that I was following the Lord’s leading. I should have listened more closely to Rick’s counsel. He knows me best and completely understands my limitations, and he is the head of our household and my spiritual leader. Why do I so often have to learn things the hard way?
So here’s the deal. For an unknown period of time, I need to go back to posting only three times per week: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. I have already scheduled posts for tomorrow and this coming Monday and Tuesday, but after that I’ll begin the Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday schedule. Please bear with me because for probably a month most of those posts will be reblogs of some of my earlier posts.
Beloved, thank you for your understanding. I covet your prayers.
This is another wonderful devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada.
It Came to Pass
“But it came to pass within a while after…” Judges 15:1 KJV
When I was talking with an African sister in Christ in a small Ghanaian village, I was impressed with her quiet, humble spirit. She wore brightly colored tribal clothes with a turbanlike headdress. Although I guessed she was young, her hands were weathered and lined. After she shared her testimony, I asked what her favorite Bible verse was. A knowing smile spread across her face and her eyes lit up. Without hesitation, she replied, “And it came to pass.” I gave her a puzzled look. She added, “Everywhere you look in the Bible, there it is, my favorite verse.” It was a familiar phrase from God’s Word, but I had never heard anyone claim it as their favorite. I asked her to explain.
“Joni, it is a hard life we live in our country. The weather is harsh and our crops sometimes fail. It’s at those times we don’t know where the next meal is coming from. We have no money, nothing to offer our children. But we have God!” she said in a hearty voice. “And we know he will take care of us. We can look at the misery around us and know that God will see us through. Then we can smile and say, ‘It came to pass.'”
“And it came to pass” reminds me of 1 Peter 5:10, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you.” I don’t face drought and failing crops, but I am in a wheelchair; it’s why I appreciate the words, “After you have suffered for a little while.” Our troubles are but momentary according to 2 Corinthians 4:17, and very soon hardships will be behind us. What hardship are you facing? Thank the Lord that you’ll soon say, “It came to pass.”
Lord, keep me from a complaining spirit. Give me the courage to trust You no matter what I lack in life.
Joni and Friends
Pearls of Great Price
Copyright © 2006
by Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
A Song of Ascents.
When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter
and our tongue with joyful shouting;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.
Restore our captivity, O Lord,
as the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
he who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.1
It seemed too good to be true that they were able to return to Jerusalem. It was like a dream—they couldn’t believe it. Now they want to give a testimony to the world.
The remnant of Israel that returned to their land after the Babylonian captivity does not exhaust the meaning of this psalm. It also looks forward to their national restoration when their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns.
Let me quote Dr. Gaebelein’s comment at the conclusion of this Psalm. “Beautiful is the ending of this Psalm of prophecy. We must think first of all of Him who came in humility and sowed His precious seed with tears, our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Only His Father knows the many tears which He shed in His presence in secret prayer . . . And it is perfectly proper to apply this to ourselves also. So let us weep and scatter the seed! ‘Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not’ (Gal. 6:9)” (The Book of Psalms, p. 456).2
God Is Love
by Joni Eareckson Tada
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.”
—I John 4:16
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are fellowshiping in a waterfall of love and joy. It is nothing short of amazing that the Trinity is driven to share that joy with us. It was the Savior’s mission: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you.” (John 15:11). What joy the Trinity enjoys! Misery may love company, but joy craves a crowd, and so the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s plan to rescue humans is not only for man’s sake. It is for God’s sake. The Father is gathering a crowd–an inheritance, pure and blameless–to worship His Son in the joy of the Holy Spirit. “God is love” and the wish of love is to drench with delight those for whom God has suffered.
Soon believers will step into the waterfall of joy and pleasure that is the Trinity. Better yet, we will become part of a Niagara Falls of thunderous delight as “God is all and in all.” In heaven, we will not only know God, we willknow Him in that deep, personal union, that utter euphoria of experiencing Him. There in heaven we will“eat of the tree of life” and be filled to overflowing with more joy and pleasure than we can contain (Revelation 22:2).
Amazing grace, how can it be, that God would share His joy for eternity with me? Remember, God shares His joy on His terms; and those terms call for us to, in some measure, suffer as His beloved Son did while on earth (I Peter 2:21). If you and I experience hardship, it is paving the way for a deeper joy for all of eternity!
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank You for inviting me into the fellowship of Your joy. Thank You for preparing me for heaven’s joy as I trust You in the fellowship of Your sufferings while on earth.
Joni and Friends
Copyright © 2006. Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada. Published in print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan